Sample Essay: Knowledge Is an Important Ingredient for Making Decisions

Writing excellent essays can be critical for your success at school. And reading high-quality essays can be critical for your excellent essay paper writing.

All of us are involved in making decisions, from the two-year-old who decides he does not like a particular food to the company executive who must decide if a new product line is in the best interest of his company. Sometimes we make decisions without even noticing that we actually made one. There are instances, however, when we put in our conscious and concerted effort and time in arriving at a decision. In such cases the crucial part of the decision-making process is the knowledge we use in order to drive a certain conclusion.

If, for example, the same executive, mentioned earlier, wouldn’t have the precise knowledge of the market’s demand and supply, as well as marketing research data about the particular product, he wouldn’t be able to arrive at successful decision, and, which is even worse, this decision may cause considerable losses to the company. Another example of knowledge being a crucial ingredient of the decision-making process is when a doctor makes diagnosis to his patient. Without knowing the particular symptoms to the certain disease he won’t be able determine the cause of illness, let’s say, in such environment, where there is no special medical equipment, and, consequently, he won’t be able to arrive to the right decision and provide the relief action to his patient.

There are three different types of knowledge within an organization [1]:

  • tacit knowledge, represented by individual or group experience and expertise, is implicit: used for sense making, problem solving & gaining of perspective, and is personal: held within us and rarely documented;
  • explicit knowledge, based on policies, procedures, instructions, standards and results, readily communicated, often through written documentation, and provides a record of “organizational or institutional memory”; and
  • cultural knowledge, the basis for what we deem to be fair and trustworthy, an underlying comprehension of how we treat new truths and situations, and is often tied to an organization’s vision, mission and overall philosophy.

However, the reality is that not always any of this type of knowledge is being used in the decision-making process. Such grounds as intuition and personal judgement often happen to be the basic motivation for a particular decision.

Intuition is only one of many different modes of thinking available to decision-makers. However, in case of using it decision-maker should ensure that the cognitive mode is appropriate for the situation. Of course, using intuition in making serious decisions one takes chance to succeed or to fail, and the last is more likely to happen if one doesn’t possesses any related knowledge. In less crucial situations, intuition may be used if knowledge cannot be available at the moment.

Another mode of thinking prior to making decision is judgement. Numerous researchers, albeit in limited situations, have compared the intuitive judgements of professionals with a variety of different types of systems designed to aid judgement. Studies indicate that, by increasing the amount of analytic thought in making decisions, however, professional adherence to best practice and outcomes often improve. [2] Meanwhile, using judgement based on personal premises without any analytical thinking makes decision biased, which often may prove to be inappropriate. Again, the use of judgement in the decision-making process should not be excluded as being inefficient. For example, if there is a court proceeding and the evidence is equal on both sides (attorney’s and prosecutor’s), than it’s the judgement that should be applied in order to resolve the court’s dispute. However, if the field judge, for instance, will set the score based on his personal judgement of which teams plays better rather than on the evidence of the scored goals, this would make the situation rather preposterous.

The point is that in any decision-making process it’s the knowledge that we should give the priority when arriving to a certain conclusion that may cause further actions. If we want a better world, one relatively inexpensive way to get it is to improve the way we make decisions, that is to make rather knowledge-based than intuition- or judgement-based decisions. However, intuition and judgement should not be excluded from the process but rather viewed as additional tools, when knowledge cannot be available or when it is more appropriate to use these tools.

Reference List

  1. Barnes, Barry. 1977. Interests and the growth of knowledge. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
  2. Dawn Lamond, Carl Thompson. Intuition and Analysis in Decision Making and Choice. Profession and Society. 2000.
  3. Philip Newman. Principles of Psychology. Dorsey Pr. March 1983.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>